Unethical Quote Of The Month: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Statement Regarding His Reparations Task Force’s Final Recommendations

I see another politician is envious of John Kerry’s Lifetime Weasel Award! Just consider this head-exploding response by California Governor Gavin Newsom, who appointed a task force that was under the impression that its—ridiculous, but never mind, let’s say good faith—recommendations for financial reparations to black Californians would be accepted as well as taken seriously:

“The Reparations Task Force’s independent findings and recommendations are a milestone in our bipartisan effort to advance justice and promote healing. This has been an important process, and we should continue to work as a nation to reconcile our original sin of slavery and understand how that history has shaped our country. Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments. Many of the recommendations put forward by the Task Force are critical action items we’ve already been hard at work addressing: breaking down barriers to vote, bolstering resources to address hate, enacting sweeping law enforcement and justice reforms to build trust and safety, strengthening economic mobility — all while investing billions to root out disparities and improve equity in housing, education, healthcare, and well beyond. This work must continue. Following the Task Force’s submission of its final report this summer, I look forward to a continued partnership with the Legislature to advance systemic changes that ensure an inclusive and equitable future for all Californians.”

If there are any African-Americans in California—or the universe, for that matter—who see Newsom’s statement as anything but an insult to their intelligence, well, their intelligence deserves the insult.

Pronounced Instapundit contributor Stephen Green: “He’s dodging.” Ya think? Of course he’s dodging, because what was a shameless and cruel pandering stunt by the governor now is a veritable sword of Damocles. The proposed California state budget is going to be about $260 billion, and the proposed reparations might cost as much as $800 billion. The state also just defaulted on a $18.6 billion debt to the feds. Reparations as a concept is ethically indefensible in general, but in a state where slavery was never legal, given to people who have never been enslaved and paid for by citizens who have never owned slaves, it would be a joke were not so many race-hucksters cheering for it.

“Reparations are not only morally justifiable, but they have the potential to address long standing racial disparities and inequalities,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said. Sure she did: she’s Barbara Lee. The list of California blacks who are slated to get pay-offs include those who have been imprisoned or had “a family member was incarcerated, [and] whether they faced housing discrimination and other prejudicial factors.” As Jazz Shaw pointed out, not that the idea requires much thought to recognize, the proposal excludes Hispanics and Asians who may have also been incarcerated or been harmed by prejudice. But it includes rewarding those who were imprisoned because they committed crimes.

“Dealing with that legacy is about much more than cash payments” in Newsom’s statement is the signature scent of a weasel. I’m pretty sure the reflex reaction of most potential recipients of the promised windfall for having the right skin shade will be, “Yeah, well, forget about the rest, just show me the money.” Democratic politicians have been treating blacks like patsies and fools for decades now. It would be a wonderful development if Newsom’s utter shamelessness provoked a mass forehead-slapping moment.

I’m not counting on it.

18 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Month: Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Statement Regarding His Reparations Task Force’s Final Recommendations

  1. No, it will only provoke the kind of head-slapping that means they think he’s racist for not showing them the money.

    They don’t realize that they’re never going to get the money because they apparently don’t recognize that they’re being pandered to. Few politicians in this country are serious about paying out reparations. They just want to pretend they are in order to keep African-American citizens and deluded whites voting for them.

  2. The mayor of Newark can put up posters that say “Say the word: REPARATIONS,” because in the end he’s only the one demanding them, not the one who would have to pay them out or budget for them. Assuming a relatively conservative payout of $250K to about half the state’s 1.14 million black people, which I’ll call 500,000 because the number is easy to work with, that would be $125 billion. 2022’s budget was $46 billion. So that would be close to three times the state’s budget. This in a state where slavery was officially abolished in 1804, but, because the abolition provided for gradual emancipation and enfranchisement, there were still a few enslaved people when the emancipation proclamation and the 13th amendment hit. This also in a state where only about 1/9 or 11.11% of the population is black. The remaining almost 90% of us are supposed to pay this? How? Close down government services for three years? Collect four or five times the taxes from the rest of us? These democratic politicians know that would be political suicide and financial doom.

    What this amounts to is a fancy way of making promises you can’t keep and never had any intention of keeping so that you can stay in power. If that’s not unethical, I don’t know what is.

  3. Professor Turley’s money line (so to speak) on the Newsom “pivot:” Newsom has finally responded by what sounded like the common birthday card that reads “I couldn’t afford a present, so I gave you this card instead.”

  4. I’ve seen this dynamic before, in the context of project management (I work in industrial automation). The way it usually goes is this: You have a project that’s a flaming train wreck. Everybody is behind schedule. Everybody knows that everybody is behind schedule. But they know that, if they pretend they’re on track, and somebody else admits they’re behind, that person gets the blame for the project being behind, target dates will be pushed back, and they’ll get extra time to catch up with no one the wiser. But sometimes nobody is willing to be the adult in the room, and when I show up to do my part, what was supposed to be a completed construction project is in fact a hole in the ground, with a family of raccoons living in it.

    That seems to be what’s going on here. Reparations are a dog of a project. Nobody in California wants to be the adult in the room and say it, nobody wants to be tarred as the racist bad guy who burst everybody’s utopian dream, so the clown car just keeps chugging along.

  5. I’ve been thinking. Always dangerous. I don’t think the reparations thing should be dismissed out of hand. I’m pretty sure most people in Congress assume that any money the government gives out in programs will all come back to the government once it changes hands five or six times via all sorts of taxes, local, state and federal. AOC has already been quoted as saying all the government needs to do is print the necessary money to fund reparations. They’ll probably pitch it as fiscal stimulus. Ta-Dah! And think of the financial services industry and their lobbyists salivating over all that dough. Not to mention car manufacturers and homebuilders. The money will be in other people’s hands in a New York minute. Ten years later, they’ll have to do it all over again!

  6. By the by, the debt they defaulted on — which was money they borrowed to pay unemployment benefits — was $18.6 billion. Just slipped a decimal point.

    • Apparently the only states who still owe in the billions for that (and I imagine most states had to borrow for unemployment benefits) are California and New York, with a couple other states still owing.

      And, of course, since the state is refusing to pay its debts it will fall on the companies to do so — their federal unemployment tax will go up 50% to start, from 0.6% to 0.9%.

      North Carolina had a similar problem after the 2008 recession (except it didn’t default). The legislature made it a priority to reform the unemployment system so it wouldn’t happen again. To be sure, that included reducing the maximum benefits — but we decided that money does not, in fact, grow on trees.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.